Valeriia OVCHAROVA, Ukraine
PROJECT: Carrying out an evaluation of local youth work

Skilled in research and policy analysis, Valeria is working towards youth policy and civil society development.  

In her capacity as a Field Representative at the USAID/ENGAGE Programme, she is assisting CSOs to build horizontal networks on the local and regional levels, facilitate dialogue with key civil society stakeholders in respective regions, and coordinate direct technical support to CSO partners. As a Head of the local non-governmental organization YES, she implemented various international, national and local social projects for young people. Previously, Valeriia worked for the municipal institution Zaporizhzhya Regional Centre of Youth and coordinated youth policy implementation in the cities and local communities of the Zaporizhzhya Region. She is a recipient of different scholarships and awards, including the Presidential Grant for Gifted Youth and the Scholarship of the Cabinet of Ministry of Ukraine for special achievements for developing youth policy. 

Valeria holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Zaporizhzhya National University. Currently, she is in the process of completing a Ph.D. in Social Work  at the Zaporizhzhia National University, Ukraine. 

“The fellowship allowed me to formalize my experience and expertise in youth policy. Due to my research conducted within my fellowship action, CSOs and local authorities modified their approach towards  youth work on the local level. Besides, I decided to continue my academic studies in the field of Social Work and pursue my professional career in the civil society sector of Ukraine. I am immensely happy for the new knowledge and extended professional networks acquired from the regional alumni network of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility that opened a window of new opportunities to me.” – Valeriia OVCHAROVA

Carrying out an evaluation of local youth work

The action aimed to evaluate a local youth work in the three South-Eastern regions (Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Donetsk) of Ukraine and determine youth in line with the state priorities as of May-November 2018. Also, the action addressed the problems, such as low quality of youth work management and low level of youth participation in the small Ukrainian communities. To achieve the above objectives, Valeria studied the Ukrainian and European Standards of youth work at the local level. Then, she contacted the regional Departments of Youth Policy and started to research the issue. Following this, she visited 8 Ukrainian towns (Including Mariupol, Melitopol, Zhovti Vody, Kramatorsk, Kamianske, Vasilievka, etc) and conducted focus groups in the field. Finally, she conducted an online survey of approximately 600 young people to define the qualitative trends and developed recommendations for the local authorities. In addition, Valeriia organized a roundtable to promote the survey results. 

The action produced an analytical digest: “Youth Work in the South-Eastern Part of Ukraine: Current Status and Prospects.” The study reviews the local conditions for youth participation and youth infrastructure and suggests successful practices of youth work in the target regions. The electronic and printed (150 copies) versions of the report were distributed among the local city halls, governmental divisions, and partner organizations. All in all, the analytical paper and roundtable event served as an instrument to raise awareness of the local government, media, and other stakeholders in terms of challenges and mitigation measures to increase youth participation in Ukraine.

Fellowship Programs 2018
Country Ukraine
Areas of Interest Capacity development
Topics Democratic participation
Youth empowerment
Project duration May 2018 - October 2018